Skip to main content

Full text of "Modern passenger schedules and their development"

See other formats



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 











.June..!., 191. .8. 






instructor in Charge 


Approved : 












IX. PRESENT TENDENCIES - 1910-1918 31-35 




Chapter I 


The development of passenger schedules is a subject which has re- 
ceived very little consideration among writers on railroad economics in America. 
It is true they have referred to this development from time to time in a sub- 
sidiary way along with their priinary lines of discussion and argument, but 
there seems to have been no attempt to take this subject by itself and to give 
it general consideration from the pioneer days of railroad life to the present 
time . 

Because of the lack of definite and adequate information on the sub- 
ject, it is the purpose of this thesis to summarize the development of passen- 
ger schedules by decades giving illustrations of such a number and character 
as to show the significant changes that have come about. 

In order to make effective use of illustrations, it is first neces- 
sary to explain some of the technical terms used in connection therewith. The 
two railroad terms, time-table and schedule, are used to a certain extent in- 
discriminately by railway men and to a still greater extent by the public, per- 
haps incorrectly so. 

In the Standard Code of Train Rules of the American Railway Associa- 
tion the time-table i3 defined as: "The authority for the movement of regular 
trains subject to the rules. It contains the classified schedules of trains 
with special instructions relating thereto." The schedule is defined as: "That 
part of a time-table which prescribes class, direction, number and movement 


for a regular train."* 

In the parlance of the American Railway Association it ia readily 
seen that the schedule i9 only a part of the time-table and hence cannot be 
used at all times as a synonym for time-table. 

It is not the purpose of this thesis to consider the schedule as 
the train dispatcher treats it, namely in its relation to train orders, but 
to investigate the actual changes that have come about from time to time which 
have helped to mould the schedule into its present stage of development. As 
passenger schedules alone are to be considered, only first class trains will 
be taken into account since regular passenger trains are almost invariably 
made first class trains. This fact is made evident by looking at an employees 
time-table on a division of any of our typical American railroads. Second 
and third class trains are usually manifest, time and way freight trains 
respectively. Direction and schedule number of trains will enter only inci- 
dentally. Chief consideration will be given to the movement and actual con- 
sist or equipment of the train. 

*See Standard Code of Train Rules of the American Railway Association, 
p. 7, 8. 


Chapter II 

The American railroad as we know it today date a from the year 1830 
when the first 13 miles of the Baltimore and Ohio were opened for traffic. 
At this time there were only 23 miles of line in America. During the period 
1830-1840 numerous short lines were built until in 1840 there was a total 
mileage of 2,818, the longest single line of which was the Charleston and 
Hamburg, of 137 miles. * The lines were in general isolated and even when there 
were junction points, interchange of equipment was uiknown. It follows from 
these facts that the total distance any one train could run between terminals 
was exceedingly short. 

In 183? a train ran from Philadelphia to Harrisburg starting every 
morning from the comer of Broad and Race Street via the Lancaster and Harris- 
burg Railroad arriving at Harrisburg at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Passen- 
gers transferred to the Canal Packets to be taken on toward Pittsburgh. The 
entire distance from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was covered in 3£ days. The 
equipment of the train consisted of a locomotive and one eight-wheeled car. 
The car resembled a stage coach very much but was somewhat larger. This il- 
lustration is not only of interest because it gives an idea of the service 
rendered by a typical American railroad during the 30' a but also because this 
piece of railroad is now a very important link in the great Pennsylvania 
Railroad System. 

The period 1840-1850 was not an active decade in railroad construction 

Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 22, 25. 
2 Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 36. 


The Southern States did not build any road of importance, and only three im- 
portant lines in the Central West had begun operation. In the southern part 
of New England, however, the progress was greater, and many links of the 
present trunk line system of that section were completed.** 

By the close of this period passenger service was established in 
the Middle West on the Michigan Central, which operated one train each way be- 
tween Detroit and New Buffalo on the shore of Lake Michigan. From New Buffalo 
connection was made with Chicago by steamboat.^ The Galena and Chicago Union 
Railroad had two trains each way between Chicago, Elgin, and St. Charles. The 
running time between Chicago and Elgin, 42 miles, was 3 hours and 10 minutes. 5 
This road is now part of the Chicago and North Western Line. 

In the East at this time service on the Erie Railroad was developed 
to a greater extent than on any of the other three great trunk lines. Two 
301 -mile schedules were operated each way between New York City and Corning, 
New York, and two more were operated each way as far as Otisville and Port 
Jervis. Trains made all station stops and required 16^ hours between New York 
and Corning. 6 

The Pennsylvania Railroad was at this time limited to the distance 
of 97 miles between Lancaster and Lewistown. It had one train each way be- 
tween these places and double service between Lancaster and Harrisburg. 7 

In the New England States the Boston and Maine shows the greatest 
development at this time. It ran three trains 111 miles each way between 
Boston and Portland on 4 and 5 hour schedules. Eleven trains to and as many 

^Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 26. 
^American Railway Guide, April, 1850, p. 37. 
5lbid., p. 38. 
6 Ibid., p. 24. 
7 Ibid., p. 11. 


from Boston ran daily over this line: three each way between Boston and Port- 
land; five each way between Boston and Haverhill, eight each way between 
Boston and Lawrence; and eleven between Boston and Reading. Two trains each 


way between Lawrence and Boston irade no intermediate stops. 

The end of this period found the passenger service over the country 
in general in more or less of an experimental stage except in the more estab- 
lished sections of the country, New York and New England. The railroad had, 
however, demonstrated its superiority over the canal for speedy transportation. 

It could be constructed more cheaply than the canal and could also overcome 


the difficulties imposed by climate and elevation. 

°American Railway Guide, April, 1850, p. 73. 

9 Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 27. 


Chapter III 


The decade of the fifties was a very active one in railroad construc- 
tion and likewise in the development of passenger service. Railroads were 
coming into favor with people who traveled. They were rapidly displacing the 
stage and steamboats in spite of the fact that for long trips several trans- 
fers were usually necessary. The economic development of the country was 
making such rapid progress as to demand more passenger transportation and 
longer trips. Consequently several routes, such as the New York and Boston 
Express Line, were established for the purpose of offering continued transpor- 
tation over longer distances and between important commercial centers. These 
routes which were composed of connecting lines* did not offer a through 
route in the sense in which we use the term today but simply made possible the 
transfer from one line to the next without the use of an intermediate agency 
such as the stage or canal. 

In order to discuss schedules further it is necessary to use the 
terms accommodation train and express train. The accommodation train is the 
train that makes all or nearly all station stops between its terminals. The 
express train makes only the more important stops between its terminals or 
may in extreme cases make no stops between terminals. The accommodation train 
frequently takes the name, "local", since as a rule it makes only a short run 
as well as all the stops within its run. The express train may travel any 
distance which may be 5 or 10 miles in the case of express suburban trains or 
2500 miles in the case of transcontinental trains. 

♦See pages 7 & 8 infra. 


In 1853 the New York and New Haven Railroad, now the moat important 
division of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford, ran four accommodation 
and two express trains between New Haven and New York, a distance of 76 miles, 
and three accommodation and two express trains in the opposite direction. 
Accommodation trains ran on 3 hour and 40 minute schedules and express trains 
ran on 3 hour schedules. Express trains made three stops between terminals. 
Five accommodation trains were operated out 30 to 40 miles from New York and 
a like number into New York to take care of the short distance travel into 
the city which later took the form of suburban traffic. Express trains were 
run in the afternoon and evening. ^ 

The Boston and Providence Railroad, forming part of a through route 
between Boston and New York, ran three accommodation trains and one express 
train in each direction between Boston and Providence, 43| miles, on 1 3/4 
and 1^ hour schedules respectively. The express train making only one inter- 
mediate stop was for the accommodation of Boston-New York passengers, who were 
carried via this line from Boston to Providence, then via the Stonington and 
Providence Railroad to Stonington and then by steamboat to New York. The 50 
mile distance from Providence to Stonington was covered in 1 hour and 45 
minutes by the express train. Two accommodation trains were run in each 
direction between these points on 2% hour schedules. By the above combination 
of three lines including the water route from New York to Stonington one could 
leave New York at 8 a.m. and arrive at Boston at 6:30 p.m. making a trip of 
10i hours. In the opposite direction the train left Boston at 5 p.m. 11 

10 Pathfinder Railway Guide, October, 1853, p. 42. 
u Ibid., p. 21, 22. 


Another through route consisted of the Boston and V/orcester Railroad 
and the Western Railroad between Boston and Albany. This route is now that of 
the Boston and Albany Railroad. The Boston and Worcester had three aceonmo- 
dation and two express trains from Worcester to Boston, a distance of 45 miles. 
They ran on 1 hour and 45 minute, and 1 hour and 20 minute schedules. There 
was one more express train westbound. 12 Eight suburban trains ran out from 
Boston in addition to these. This fact indicates that at this early date subur- 
ban traffic had become of considerable importance at Boston. 

The Western Railroad formed the connecting link between Worcester and 
Albany, a distance of 156 miles; with three accommodation trains westbound 
running on an eight hour schedule, and one express train on a 5 hour and 35 
minute schedule. This train made connection with a train from Boston on the 
Boston and Worcester. Thus is was possible for passengers to cover the 200 
miles from Boston to Albany in 7 hours including the transfer. There were only 
two accommodation trains and no express trains eastbound. 13 

The marked difference in the service eastbound and westbound indi- 
cates that there was a much lighter traffic in the eastbound direction. This 
may be explained partly by the large amount of migration from thickly populated 
New England toward the Great Lakes region at this time. Except for such move- 
ments passenger traffic is characterized by the fact that it is nearly equal 
in opposite directions. Also longer trains may have been operated eastbound. 

An all-rail route called the New York and Boston Express Line was 
in effect at this time consisting of a combination of the New York and New 

12 Pathfinder Railway Guide, October, 1853, p. 32. 
13 Ibid., p. 36. 


Haven Railroad, New Haven, Hartford A Springfield R.R., Western Railroad, and 
Boston and Worcester Railroad. This was one of the early exauples of the 
through route. Two express trains were operated in each direction and covered 
the distance of 236 miles by this line in eight hours. One train eastbound 
ran on a 7^ hour schedule. This combination route represented a distinct 
departure from the ordinary one-line, express-train route, and was without 
doubt an answer in the form of through service to the increasing demands of 
travelers for long distance transportation without the usual and undesirable 
transfers and long waits at junction points. A through fare of $5 was quoted 
at this time. 14 

In 1858 the New York and New Haven still had only two express trains 
in each direction but had increased the accommodation trains to six eastbound 
and westbound. However, the running time of express trains was cut to 2 hours 
and 5© minutes with one schedule ten minutes less. The accommodation trains 
ran on 3 hour and 10, 15, 20, or 30 minute schedules. 15 This railroad still 
formed part of the Boston and New York Express Line with its eight hour 

in this same year the Western Railway in connection with the Boston 
and Worcester had three accommodation trains running three each way between 
Albany and Boston. The best time made by any of the trains was 7^ hours. 16 
The through fare was $5 for the 200 miles the same as the New York-Eoston 
fare where the distance was 34 miles greater. 

At this time the Pennsylvania Central and its affiliated lines, the 

14 Pathfinder Railway Guide, October, 1853, p. 39. 

15 Appleton's Ry. and Steam Navigation Guide, October, 1858, p. 83. 

^Ibid., p. 121. 


Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago, Northern Indiana Railway and New Jersey 
Railway had also formed a thru passenger route between Chicago and New York, 
a distance of 910 miles. Two fast express trains were operated in each direc- 
tion. The total running time between Chicago and Philadelphia was 39 hours 
and between Chicago and New York 44 hours. Eastbound there was an alternative 
connection at Philadelphia over the Camden and Amboy Railroad to New York.^ 
It required 2 hours longer to make the trip via this route because of a wait 
for the Camden and Amboy train at Philadelphia and because of slower running 
time than on the New Jersey Railroad. 

Another very interesting and important development of this period 
was that of various lines which now constitute part of the great New York 
Central system. The Michigan Central was extended around the south end of the 
lake from New Buffalo into Chicago in 1852. In 1853 the Michigan Southern 
was built to Chicago. The first route opened for passenger service was that 
of the combination of Michigan Central, Great Western Railway of Canada, New 
York Central Railway and Hudson River Railroad. By 1858 there were three ex- 
press trains eastbound making connections via the Michigan Southern and its 
connecting line, the Lake Shore Route, with New York Central trains at Buffalo. 
The Michigan Central had only two similar trains. 18 

Three transfers of cars were necessary at this time via either 
route. The distance between Chicago and New York via these routes was about 
965 miles and the trip required 40 hours which was 4 hours less than was re- 
quired over the Pennsylvania route. Two trains eastbound on the Western 

Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, October, 1858, p. 56. 
J Ibid., p. 68, 70. 


Railway made connection with the New York Central trains at Albany for Boston 
requiring 9 hours to go from Albany to Boston, 200 miles. A similar number 
of trains and kind of service was offered to the westbound traffic.^ 

No dining car service was then in effect, and passengers on these 
long journeys were permitted to get refreshments along the way at all the im- 
portant stations and cities such as Michigan City, Toledo, Cleveland, Erie, 
Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany and Poughkeepsie . 20 

It is seen, then, that during this important decade was formed the 
shell of America's two greatest trunk lines, the Pennsylvania and the New 
York Central . Also several links of the New Haven System, which later became 
so important in the industrial life of the New England States, were in opera- 
tion at this time. 

Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, October, 1858, p. 68. 
'ibid., p. 68. 


Chapter IV 


This period is characterized as one of improved service and facili- 
ties. While it was also a period of important railway construction, that fact 
was very much overshadowed by the development of new types of equipment and 
faster schedules. 

By 1862 the running time of express trains on the Pennsylvania 
was cut to 37 hours Chicago to Philadelphia and 42 hours Chicago to New York. 
Westbound, the whole time occupied from Philadelphia to Chicago was 35 hours. 
The time from New York to Chicago was, via Philadelphia 40 hours and via Allen- 
town and Reading 39 hours. 2 * Two transfers were necessary between terminals, 
namely at Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. 

In the same year the Hudson River Railroad operated four express 
trains in each direction between New York and Troy. In addition there were 
five accommodation trains from New York as far as Poughkeepsie and two all the 
way to Troy. 22 

On the old Boston and New York Express Line there was one less ac- 
commodation train each way and one more express train each way indicating an 
increase in the proportion of longer trips to shorter trips and a desire for 
greater speed. 23 Two years later one more express train was added eastbound 
and two more westbound. The running time remained the same. 24 

The New York Central route from Chicago to New York has always been 

^Appleton' s By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1862, p. 68. 
22 lbid., p. 77. 
23 Ibid. , p. 86. 

24 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Oct., 1864, p. 94. 


a road well adapted for passenger service on account of its excellent road-bed 
equipment and scenic attractions. This is especially true of that portion of 
the route along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. In connection with the Hudson 
River Railroad there is a very interesting bit of advertising taken from an 
old record 25 which was written as follows: 

"This is considered one of the best managed roads in the United 
States. The distance from New York to Troy is one hundred and fifty miles 
and the average running time is thirty miles ver hour. Trains of thi3 road run 
with an expedition, despatch, and regularity, not surpassed by any other in 
the country. It winds along the banks of the Hudson River thru a scenery 
which, for picturesque beauty, is not excelled by any in the Old or New World. 
The immense business it has successfully handled since its first completion 
and its almost entire exception from accidents and collisions speak volumes 
in favor of its efficient, energetic and prudent management. One character- 
istic of this road deserves especial mention. We refer to the system of sig- 
nal flags introduced to secure safety from accidents in the running of trains. 
Flagmen are stationed upon every mile of track, generally at the curves or 
upon a slight acclivity when a view of the track from some distance can be 
had. Upon the approach of a train, if all is clear ahead, the flagman displays 
a white flag signal. If there be any obstruction in sight or a diminished 
speed is required a red flag is displayed. 

"The Hudson River Railway is one of the best constructed roads in 
the country. The road-bed generally is thirty feet wide at the top, the pro- 
tection wall is three feet in thickness and carried five feet above ordinary 

Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1862, p. 76. 


high tide. The rail weighs seventy pounds per yard and the outer rail in all 
cases of exposure to the river is ten feet from the top of the wall affording 
a wide margin for the washing of the bank and ample security against running 
the cars into the river in case of accident. The thru fare never exceeds $3 
which considering the distance and time saved is extremely low." 

The above quotation was written in 1862. While it was only an 
advertisement and possibly somewhat exaggerated, yet it does tend to show how 
this famous 150 miles of railroad has pushed itself ahead of its competitors 
and has built up the reputation which it now enjoys. 

The signal system referred to above is of interest because signals 
have for many years been an important advertising feature in the development 
of passenger traffic. Here they were seen in their primitive form. The flag- 
men stationed at regular intervals formed a crude block system which later 
developed into the manual block-signal system only to be supplanted by the 
automatic block system. Their signal system, crude as it was because it was 
better than the signal system of its competitors was used as an advertising 
measure the same as its automatic electric block signals and electric locomo- 
tives have been used since. 

The question may now arise as to what signals have to do with the 
development of passenger schedules. A good block signal system may help de- 
velop passenger schedules in two ways. First, signals make possible the 
safe operation of trains at higher speeds because they keep the enginemen 
informed as to track conditions immediately ahead. Thi3 fact makes it possible 
to shorten the time of a schedule between terminals. Second, signals tend to 
create more passenger business for the road using them and informing the public 
of their use thru advertising. The public feels safer in traveling over a road 


block-signaled than over one not block-9ignal ed and for this reason will 
choose the road with the block signals, other things being equal. But by 
choosing the road with the block signals the public i3 increasing the passenger 
traffic of that road which will in turn make a demand for a larger number of 

The other notable development of this era was that of special equip- 
ment. The sleeping car as we know it today, originated with George M. Pullman, 
who built the Pioneer A in 1864. 26 This car was first operated on the Chicago 
and Alton Eailroad. Parlor cars at this time were used on trains making day 
runs. In 1868 the first Pullman diner, the "Delmonico" was started on the 
Chicago and Alton. 27 There was some attempt toward building vestibuled cars 
but the first vestibuled train of the modern type was built by Pullman and run 
on the Pennsylvania Eailroad in 1886. 28 

By 1868 the Boston and Worcester and Western Hallways were consolid- 
ated into the Boston and Albany Railway as it is known at present. 29 There 

were then two express and two accommodation trains each way. The fastest ex- 

press run A 7 hours and 25 minutes. 

During the same year the Pennsylvania put another express train into 
service between New York and Chicago. Besides the three express trains each 
way between Chicago and Pittsburgh there was one local each way. 30 Between 
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh there were the three fast trains each way and three 
accommodation trains. There was a local suburban service of seven trains each 
way out of Pittsburgh east and a suburban service of three trains eaoh way 

Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Eailroad Transportation, p. 63. 
27 Johnson and Huebner, Eailroad Traffic and Bates, Vol. II, p. 97. 
28johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Eailroad Transportation, p. 63. 
29 Appleton's By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Aug., 1868, p. 179. 
30lbid., p. 219. 


between Philadelphia and Paoli, 21 miles west. These suburban trains were lo- 
cal, that is, they made all station stops between their terminals. 

On the New York Central route there were four express trains each 
way between Chicago and New York. By 1870 Commodore Vanderbilt had consolidated 
the New York Central with the Hudson River Railroad and was operating thru 
trains from New York to Buffalo. 32 The Lake Shore and the Michigan Southern 
had also been consolidated and operated the connecting trains from Buffalo to 
Chicago without change, thus only one transfer was necessary between New York 
and Chicago. 33 The total time required to make the trip between terminals had 
by this time been reduced to about 31 hours. Trains run from New York to 
Albany in 4 hours and 10 minutes with no intermediate stops. 34 This illustra- 
tion points toward a general tendency at this time toward longer runs between 

There were eight express trains in each direction over the Hudson 
River Division besides an equal number of locals. A large suburban traffic 
had already begun to develop within a radius of 15 miles of New York and re- 
quired some 15 additional trains each way to handle this business within subur- 
ban limits. 35 

At this time there was from Boston also an important suburban traf- 
fic which extended 21 miles on the Boston and Albany a3 far as Farmington. 
There were seven suburban trains each way in this territory. 36 

The varied activities of this decade extended into the next and still 
other important changes in service and facilities came for the comfort and con- 
venience of the traveling public. 

31 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Aug., 1868, p. 121, 122. 
32 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Sept., 1870, p. 127. 
33 Ibid., p. 132. 
S|lbid., p. 91. 
35iMd. f p. 91. 

^Ibid., p. 172. _____________ 


Chapter V 


While this was a reconstruction period in American political and 
comir.ercial life it was in railroad circles a period of extensive expansion in 
the west and south and a period of betterments for the most part among the 
older roads in the east. In the east the chief change in facilities offered 
was that sleeping and drawing room cars were placed on all through trains. 

At the beginning of this period the New York and Boston Express 
Line still constituted the most important thru route between the two cities. 
There were now three fast trains each way and the running time had been cut to 
7 hours and 20 minutes on one of them. 37 In this period the New York and New 
Haven Railroad Company obtained control of the Shore Line Division, 38 which was 
the late New Haven, New London and Stonington Railway and which later in con- 
nection with the old New York and New Haven line was to become the greatest 
highway of steel between the important cities of New York and Boston. This 
line was six miles shorter than the Great New York and Boston Express Line but 
had not come into favor as yet with the public for thru travel. In 1871 there 
were three thru trains ea3tbound and two westbound over this shore line. Their 
running time was not yet as good as on the old Express Line as the fastest 
train required 8^ hours to make the trip. 39 

The following year the New York and New Haven expanded its system 
and took the name of New York, New Haven and Hartford Railway which it has 
retained. Its heaviest travel was still over the old Express Line^O but it 

37 Apple ton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Jan., 1872, p. 107. 
38 Ibid., p. 108. 
39 Ibid., p. 108. 

^Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, July, 1873, p. 95. 


was making the shore line service better in order to take traffic away from the 
old line, part of which it did not own. It cut the running time of one of its 
fast trains via the shore line to 8 hours at this time. 4 '- By the end of this 
period another thru accommodation train had been put into service eastbound 
and the fastest express train was running between terminals on a 6 hour and 45 
minute schedule which was 35 minutes less than the best run on the old Express 
Line. 42 

After the close of the Civil VTar passenger service was very poor 
south of the Ohic River. There were no large systems such as there were north 
of the Ohio, and consequently it was a very laborious task to go any great 
distance in the Southern States. At the beginning of this period one of the 
best routes between New York and New Orleans was the "Great Southern Mail Route" 
composed of many short lines. 43 It took 84 hours to make the trip by this route 
and 88 hours by another route composed of the Selma, Rome and Dal ton Railway, 
Virginia and Tennessee Railway, Jackson and Great Northern and others. 44 It is 
only 1500 miles from New York to New Orleans but it took as long to cover this 
distance as it did a few years later to travel the entire distance from the 
Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. The transcontinental lines are over 
500 miles longer and in addition they cross the great Rocky Mountain grades. 
During this period there was no marked development of large systems in the South 
but some of the combination routes offered improved service. The Atlantic Coast 
Line Fast Passenger Route offered service between New York and New Orleans in 

41 Appleton*s Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, July, 1873, p. 96. 

42 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1879, p. 91, 92. 

43 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Sept., 1870, p. 281. 
44 Ibid., p. 268. 


about 72 hours and operated Parlor Care and Pullman Palace Sleeping Cars 
on its trains. 45 

Between the Ohio River and New Orleans the service was somewhat 
better. The Mobile and Ohio had Pullman service between Cairo and Mobile 
and New Orleans with connections at the Ohio Elver with northern and eastern 
cities. 46 There were fewer changes via this route than any other. "The Great 
Jackson Route," later consolidated with the Illinois Central, offered service 
similar to that of the Mobile and Ohio. 47 

Although the first so-called transcontinental line, that of the 
Union Pacific from the Missouri River to Ogden, Utah and the Central Pacific 
from Ogden to San Francisco was officially opened in 1869, in so far as the 
development of passenger schedules is concerned, this road may be considered to 
be one of the products of the reconstruction age and hence to be considered 
here. In 1870 there was one passenger train in each direction over this 
route. It was an accommodation train all the way and required 102 hours to go 
from Omaha to San Francisco. The fare from Omaha to Sacramento, the end of 
the Central Pacific Railroad proper, was at this time $134.50 and from Chi- 
cago $22 more. 48 This service was not improved to any extent until the fol- 
lowing decade when the Overland Flyer wa3 put into service in addition to 
the accommodation train. During the entire decade of the 70' s the schedule 
wa3 shortened only 3 hours. 

45 Appleton»s By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1879, p. 212. 
46 Ibid., p. 209. 
47 Ibid., p. 207. 

48 Appleton's By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Sept., 1870, p. 80, 238. 


Chapter VI 


Railway construction work was pushed harder during the 80' s than 
during any other time in railroad history. In the year 1882 more than 
11,000 miles of new line were put into operation. During the entire decade 
there were approximately 70,000 miles of new line opened. A The magnitude 
of this increase is more clearly seen when we consider that the total mileage 
built between the beginning of railroading in 1830 and the year 1880 was a 
little less than 100,000 miles. 

The passenger routes already established by 1880 were not changed 
to any great extent, but thousands of miles of new track were opened, and of 
course passenger service was established on each line except in a few rare 
cases on such roads as spurs built to limber camps or similar industries. The 
fact that most of the new lines were built in undeveloped country was neces- 
sarily accompanied by the fact that passenger traffic was very light at first, 
and the typical time-tables on these new lines show two local trains in each 
direction (on some very short branch lines perhaps only one train each way, 
in many cases a mixed train) . 

In the New England States the old Express Line still had the 
balance of traffic in the early part of this decade. There were six express 
trains and two accommodation trains westbound and six express trains and four 
accommodation trains eastbound. The best run was made in 6 hours and 45 
minutes. Some of the slower trains required as much as 10 hours. On the 
Shore Line Division of the New Haven one schedule had been cut to 6 hours and 

See Webb's Economics of Railroad Construction, p. 9. 


41 minutes. By 1882 the famous Boston Limited was in service which ran 
in two sections, one via the old New York and Boston Express Line, and the 
other via the Shore Line. The running time of both trains was 6 hours and 
15 minutes. 49 

In this same year the New York and Chicago Limited was running 
over the Pennsylvania between the two great terminals in 26 hours and 40 
minutes. It was fully equipped with Pullman Palace, Parlor and Sleeping 
Cars. 50 

In the west some of the notable examples of the expansion period 
are the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, 
the Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific. The Chicago, 
Burlington and Quincy from a little system extending from Chicago to the 
Mississippi River grew almost to its present mileage connecting Chicago with 
St. Paul, Minneapolis, Denver, Kansas City, Omaha and St. Louis. Its service 
expanded from three local trains each way between Chicago and Burlington, 
Iowa 5 * to a service taking on transcontinental aspects between Chicago and 
Denver with three fine trains each way between these two cities, one of them 
making connection at Denver with the Denver and Rio Grande for Salt Lake 
City and San Francisco. 52 The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul extended its 
service to Kansas City, Omaha and Aberdeen. Its line between Chicago and 
the Twin Cities was already in operation. 53 The transcontinental line of the 
Northern Pacific was opened with its first transcontinental express train in 
each direction. This train ran from St. Paul to Portland and Tacoma and 

49 Appleton' s Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Jan., 1883, p. 52, 54. 
SOlMd., p. 73. 

51 Appleton's Ry. & Steam Navigation Guide, Feb., 1879, p. 184. 
^Travelers' Official Guide, March. 1889, p. 400. 
53 Ibid., p. 316-319. 


carried Pullman Palace Sleeping Cars, Dining Car and Colonist Sleepers. 
Berths were free in the Colonist sleepers. The scheduled running tin.e in 

1889 was 88 hours between St. Paul and Portland. 54 The Rock Island System 
extended its limits in much the same general way as the Burlington and by 

1890 had reached Denver and Pueblo on the west, what is now Oklahoira on the 
south, and the Twin Cities on the North. Two trains each way were operated 
daily between the Missouri River terminals and Denver making connections at 
the river with trains from and to Chicago over older lines of the company. 55 

In 1880 the Rock Island advertised dining car service in a rather extensive and 
impressive manner. On the overland route to California in connection with 
other roads dining cars were operated on all express trains. They served 
"The Best of Meals from the Bill of Fare for Seventy-five Cents". These cars 
were "used solely for feeding the hungry". 5 ** 

Briefly, one may say that the great development of this period 
is found for the most part in the Mississippi Valley, with extension in the 
case of the Northern Pacific, to the Pacific Coast. 

^Travelers' Official Guide, March, 1889, p. 343. 
'Ibid., p. 314-315. 

'International By. & Steam Navigation Guide, Aug., 1879, p. 112. 


Chapter VII 


Several of our larger railway systems were consolidated into their 
present proportions during this period. We have some notable instances of 
railways which have built up their great network not so much by extending 
the parent line by new construction, but by merging large numbers of small 
lines once independent of each other. The Pennsylvania system is our best 
example of this practice as it is composed of more than 200 small lines which 
have been merged into a single system. 57 The effect of this consolidation 
on passenger schedules is not so marked as would first be supposed. Under 
traffic agreements thru trains are often operated between important terminals 
before the lines are consolidated. 

The number of thru trains between New York and Boston via the old 
New York and Boston Express Line was increased from six to ten in each direc- 
tion. The running time was little changed. On the Shore Line of the New 
Haven some very radical changes were made. In 1890 there were six trains 
in each direction and Uen years laterlwelve. The running time on the fastest 
trains was cut to 5 hours. The Bay State Limited was inaugurated which was 
and still is an all parlor car train, and there was an all -sleeping-car train 
at midnight in each direction between New York and Boston. 58 Two other 
famous trains coming into existence during this period were the Federal Express 
and Colonial Express between Boston and Washington, D.C. These trains were 
operated jointly by the New Haven and the Pennsylvania. 

57 J ohnson & Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation, p. 30. 
58 See Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1900, for New York, New 
Haven and Hartford Railroad. 


On the New York Central the New York-Chicago trains were not 
increased. The famous Lake Shore Limited, the New York Central's first 
exces3-fare train was put into service during this period. Its running time 
was 24 hours even, as against the New York and Chicago Limited 1 s time of 24 
hours and 45 minutes. The time of the other thru trains was somewhat mors 
than this being 30 to 35 hours. 59 The Pennsylvania did not increase its 
number of Chicago-New York trains either, but the Pennsylvania Limited which 
was at first an excess fare train between New York and Pittsburgh only was 
made an excess fare train the entire distance. The road had one other train 
for first class sleeping car passengers only. The running time of trains on 
this road was kept balanced with the New York Central's time. 6 ^ 

Between Chicago and St. Louis we have some very interesting changes. 
The Chicago and Alton had four trains each way. In 1890 the best one had 
a running schedule of 8% hours for the 282 miles. During the nineties the 
Alton Limited, the Famous Red Train, was put into service with its fast sched- 
ule of 7 hours and 44 minutes. 61 The Wabash increased its trains from 2 to 4 
in each direction between Chicago and St. Louis and cut the running time 
from 9 hours and 20 minutes to 7 hours and 51 minutes on the best trains. 62 
The Illinois Central secured its present short line between these cities and 
transferred its Diamond Special from the old route via Decatur and Vandal ia 
to the Springfield line. The schedule was thus reduced from 10 hours and 
20 minutes to 6 hours. On the short line 4 trains were operated in each 
direction. 63 

59 See New York Central & Hudson River Railroad in Official Guide of the 
Railways, July, 1900. 

fpSee Pennsylvania Railroad in Officii. Guide of the Railways, July, 1900. 
61 See Chicago and Alton Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 


°*See Wabash Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1900. 
bt5 See Illinois Central Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1930 


On the great transcontinental route between Chicago and San Fran- 
cisco over the Chicago and North Western and Union Pacific System there were 
as yet only two trains in each direction. The Overland Flyer became the 
famous Overland Limited. 64 Its running time was reduced from 874- hours to 
72 3/4 hours between Chicago and the Golden Gate terminal. The Santa Fe 
operated one train in each direction over its transcontinental line between 
Chicago and San Francisco. During this decade its schedule was reduced from 
114^ hours to 94 hours. 6 ^ 

The Illinois Central operated two trains in each direction shorten- 
ing the schedules from 29^ to 26 hours between Chicago and New Orleans- 66 

The Richmond and Danville Railroad became the Southern Railway. 
It still maintained its double train service in each direction between Wash- 
ington and Atlanta on 18 hour schedules. 67 

The Chicago and North Western increased its service between Chicago 
and Minneapolis-St . Paul from two to four trains in each direction. The 
North Western Limited was one of the new trains. Schedules were reduced from 
14 hours tc 11 and 12 hours. 68 

°^See Chicago and North Western and Union Pacific Railroads in Official 
Guide of the Railways, July, 1900. 

6 &See Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in Official Guide of the 
Railways, July, 1900. 

66 See Illinois Central Railroad in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 190(1 

67 See Southern Railway in Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1900. 

68 See Chicago and North Western Railway in Official Guide of the Rail- 
ways, July, 1900. 


Chapter VIII 

The development of this decade was chiefly along the lines of 
special service. There was a marked increase in the total volume of passenger 
traffic over the country in general, but the great demand of the public was 
for Pullman service and was answered by the railroads in the form of all- 
steel Pullman Car trains with excess fare in some cases for excessive speed. 
More elaborate passenger terminals were provided in the larger cities for 
the comfort of the traveling public. 

On the Shore Line of the New Haven the running time of the fastest 
train was still 5 hours. The Knickerbocker Limited, another all-parlor-car 
train on a 5 hour schedule, was added as was also the Merchants' Limited, a 
train of similar equipment. 69 

This period brought with it on June 15, 1902, the Twentieth Century 
Limited between Chicago and New York,*^ the most famous train ever operated 
in America and perhaps the most famous on the globe. The train was first 
made a 20 hour train, but in 1904 the time was reduced to 18 hours- By tra- 
veling the 978 miles in 18 hours it averaged 54 1/3 miles per hour for this 
great distance. The advent of this train marks a new epoch in railroad his- 
tory, as there was no long distance train anywhere in the world that could 
compare with it previous to this time. Of course it was an extra-fare 
all -Pullman-Car train right from the beginning. The New York Central also 

°*0fficial Guide of the Railways, July, 191C, p. 208. 
70 See Railroad Gazette, June 6, 1902, p. 414. 


added another extra-fare train, Lake Shore Number Six, which ran on a 22 hour 
schedule from Chicago to Mew York. 7 * In 1S10 this road operated 18 trains 
upon which excess-fare was charged between certain or all of the points at 
which the train was scheduled to stop. In addition to these there were trains 
consisting of Pullnan cars only upon which no excess fare was charged other 
than the ordinary Pullman fare. 

The Pennsylvania added materially to its special service. On the 
same day the New York Central and the Pennsylvania System established compet- 
ing twenty-hour trains between Chicago and New York. The Pennsylvania train 
was called the Pennsylvania Special. 72 Its route was nearly 70 miles shorter 
than that of the Twentieth Century Limited but it had greater obstacles to 
overcome in some other respects. Its difficulties included somewhat heavier 
grades and curves besides the trouble of ferrying between Jersey City and the 
23rd St. Station on Manhattan Island. The latter impediment has been re- 
moved by the completion and use of the Hudson River Tunnels to the new pas- 
senger terminal on Manhattan Island. The Pennsylvania Special likewise be- 
came an 18 hour train in 1904. In all, the Pennsylvania operated 4 extra- fare 
all-Pullman trains each way between Chicago and New York besides three others 
in each direction. 73 The Manhattan Limited has become a very prominent train 
among the list of service de-luxe trains. The Pennsylvania also established 
the ?4 Hr. St. Louis and 24 Hr. New Yorker, another extra-fare train between 
New York and the other great central west metropolis. 74 In 1910 this great 

7 *0f field Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 287. 
72 See Railroad Gazette, June 6, 1902, p. 414. 
73 0fficia^ Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 482. 
74 Ibid., p. 481. 


trunk line operated on various parts of its system 13 trains of the extra- 
fare type besides several others of all-Pullman equipment. 

The two 18 hour trains of the Pennsylvania and New York Central have 
had so:!.e interesting experiences during their history. In 1908 it appears 
that the 18-hour Pennsylvania Special ran so slowly that it got in the way 
of other trains. This we learn from a Chicago press despatch. 7 ^ The incident 
which gave rise to this statement was the running of a special train of 4 cars 
carrying a theatrical party from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 7 hours and 42 
minutes. This speed is almost exactly a mile a minute for the whole trip of 
470 miles. The Twentieth Century Limited was known once while running late to 
run 133 miles between Elkhart, Indiana, and Toledo, averaging 70.9 miles per 
hour. ^ TJhoff icially it has been found by stop watches to be traveling be- 
tween mile posts in 40 seconds or 90 miles an hour while running along the 
Hudson River. 77 

Between Chicago and St. Louis the extra-fare trains were not estab- 
lished as would be expected, but some very luxurious trains were operated 
in spite of this fact. On the Alton very little change was made during this 


period except that the Alton Limited was furnished with entirely new equipment. 
The Wabash established its Banner Limited, a very fine train, running on the 
standard schedule of 7 hours and 45 minutes. In order to avert speed wars 
between these two cities the four roads interested have made 7 hours and 40 
minutes the minimum time to be used by all passenger trains. During this 
period the Chicago and Eastern Illinois opened its Chicago-St. Louis Line and 

^See Railroad Gazette, May 8, 1908, p. 649. 
76 Railroad Gazette, July 21, 1905, p. 17 (G.N. 8.) 
77 See also Railroad Gazette, June 23, 1905, p. 718. 


ro See Railroad Gazette, Sept. 1, 1905, p. 204. 


in 1910 was operating three well equipped fast trains in each direction on 

the standard schedules. 

On the great transcontinental route the Overland Limited became 

a train for sleeping car passengers only. Its schedule was reduced by 1910 

to 72-£ hours westbound and 71 hours and 40 minutes eastbound between Chicago 

and San Francisco. 8 ^ The famous Los Angeles Limited was a product of this 

age with its exceedingly fast schedule of 68^ hours westbound and 7l£ hours 


eastbound between Chicago and Los Angeles. 

About 1902 there was a newspaper story that the Chicago and North 
Western, which handles these trains fron: Chicago to Omaha, would establish 
temporary telephone communications in one or more cars of its limited trains 
while such trains were standing at stations. It was 3aid by some that this 
statement was wholly poetical; that is to say, it was based on hope and 
imagination. 82 But the hope and imagination were surely realized for in 1917 
there were 20 limited trains equipped with telephones in the observation cars 
for use of the North Western' s patrons while they waited to leave the Chicago 
terminal . 

The Santa Fe added its prominent train, the California Limited, be- 
tween Chicago and San Francisco with a schedule of 86 3/4 hours. 

The Illinois Central started its "Seminole Limited" between Chicago 
and Jacksonville, Florida, on its 34 hour schedule. 84 This has become the 
favorite train between Chicago-St. Louis and the tropical resorts of Florida. 

79 0fficial Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 870. 
SOlbid., p. 737. 
8 |lbid., p. 736. 

SZSee Railroad Gazette, Feb. 21, 1902, p. 134. 
^Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 914. 
^Ibid., p. 1031. 

The Southern Railway added two trains in each direction between 


Washington and Atlanta among them the New York and New Orleans Limited. 

These il lustrations indicate the large amount of attention given 
this branch of the passenger service at this time. 

'Official Guide of the Railways, July, 1910, p. 1126. 


Chapter IX 


While this period does not represent a full decade up to the time 
this thesis is written, it does, however, contain some marked characteristics 
of its own, which put it in a class by itself. It represents a continuation 
of the development of special service followed by a marked curtailment of 
special service and facilities, partly on the initiative of the railroads 
themselves after the United States entered the war and partly on the initia- 
tive of the Government which has taken control of operation with the 
Director General in charge. 

The most notable change on the New Haven was the inauguration of the 
Boston-Pittsburgh-St. Loui3 Express between these terminals solid without 
change. 86 This train is operated jointly by the New York, New Haven and Hart- 
ford and the Pennsylvania. The service of this train was made possible by the 
completion of the Pennsylvania Terminal on Manhattan Island, and the building 
of the New York Connecting Railway connecting the terminal with the New Haven 
via the Hell Gate Bridge Route. This is an extra-fare train between certain 
points. The Federal and Colonial Express trains between Boston and Washing- 
ton, previously operated via Harlem River, are now operated thru the Manhattan 
Terminal of the Pennsylvania. 

In 1911 the Michigan Central which for many years has been known 
as a "fast track" placed on schedule its new train "The Detroiter" between 
Detroit and New York. It is scheduled over the Canadian Division from Windsor 

86 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 481 


to Bridgeburg, 226 miles, in 3 hours and 40 minutes or a rate of 61.7 miles 

per hour. This is claimed to be the fastest regular schedule in the world 
for a distance of over 200 miles and so far as can be found from the records 
the claim is well founded. The train makes one stop of 5 minutes during this 
time; and if we deduct this stop, the schedule speed is over 63 miles per 
hour. It is interesting to compare this record with that of the Great Western 
Railway of England which has trains scheduled 194 miles at 56.7 miles an hour. 

By 1917 the number of trains upon which extra-fare was charged be- 
tween certain or all points on the New York Central had been increased to 
thirty. In addition to this number there were a few other trains consisting 
of Pullman cars only. 88 This situation on the New York Central impresses 
upon us the fact that American railroads (especially those in the densely 
populated sections of the country) are fast developing a large traffic of a 
class above that of the standard first class service. 

Another characteristic of this period is the fact that it has not 
been one in which schedules have been shortened as has been the case in 
previous decades. Instead there has been some tendency in the opposite dir- 
ection. Between New York and Chicago the schedule of the Twentieth Century 
Limited has been lengthened from 18 hours to 20 hours, the same running time 
which was given to it when first put into service in 1902. 89 The 18-hour 

Pennsylvania Special was taken off and the Broadway Limited took its place 


running on a 20 hour schedule. In order to facilitate the better movement 
of freight traffic the Broadway Limited has beer: discontinued at the request 

w See Railway Age Gazette, April 28, 1911, p. 1004. 

88 See Official Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 250, 251. 

89 Ibid., p. 250. 

90 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Oct., 1915, p. 456. 


of the General Operating Committee for the eastern roads. The Pennsylvan- 
ia's fastest train between the metropolitan cities is now the Manhattan Lim- 
ited making the trip in 22 hours. 

Because of the heavy burden the Pennsylvania must carry due to its 
large allotment of war order freight its passenger service has been upset more 
than that of any other road. This road has been forced to take off many 
trains, including not only local but some of its long-distance, extra-fare 
trains. On January 6, 1918, there was a reduction of 104 weekday trains and 
51 Sunday trains. 92 The Pennsylvania reports that these reductions amount 
to an aggregate saving of 2,708,212 train miles annually. 93 

The war has also left its footprints on Chicagp-St. Louis service. 
Between these cities there were 15 trains each way daily over the four roads 
serving these cities. The Director General has reduced this service to 9 
trains each way daily and has made local trains out of some of the previous 
fast trains. 94 

In the transcontinental service the Overland Limited has been 
made an extra-fare train on a 65 hour and 10 minute schedule between Chicago 
and San Francisco. 95 It is the only daily extra-fare train between Chicago 
and the Pacific Coast. The Los Angeles Limited has become an all-Pullman- 
Car train. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe run their Santa Fe De Luxe once 
a week in the winter which is the extra-fare section of the California 

^Railway Age Gazette, Dec. 7, 1917, p. 1052. 

92 Eailway Age, Jan. 4, 1918, p. 91. 

93 Eailway Age, Feb. 1, 1918, p. 286. 

94 Railway Age, March 8, 1918, p. 521. 

95 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 764. 


Limited. 96 By reference to the Official Railway Guide it ia found that the 
only other daily Extra-fare train west of the Mississippi River besides the 
Overland Limited is the Shasta Limited of the Southern Pacific between San 
Francisco and Portland, Oregon. 9 ? 

The transcontinental service between Chicago and the Pacific coast 
has been much increased since the completion of the Chicago, Milwaukee and 
St. Paul's Pacific Coast extension over which they row operate the Olympian 
and Colunbian trains on their own rails all the way. These trains cover the 
distance between Chicago and Seattle in about 72 hours. 98 They pass over 
the long stretch of electrified line over the Rocky Mountains, and the 
electrification of the mountain grades has been used as an effective means 
of advertising to build up a traffic for these trains. 

Other well known and important transcontinental trains are the 
Oriental Limited of the Great Northern, the North Coast Limited of the 
Northern Pacific, the Golden State Limited of the Rock Island, the Oregon- 
Washington Limited of the Union Pacific System and the Scenic Limited of the 
Gould Lines . 

On November 16, 1916, the Illinois Central put the new Panama Lim- 
ited into service between Chicago and New Orleans on its 23 hour schedule. 99 
This is an All-Pullman train and compares very favorably with many of the 
extra-fare trains although it is not one itself. It is probably the finest 
train operated between the northern and southern states. 

It is thus seen how the special service which has become very firm- 
ly established in the East is rather slowly but surely being taken up by 
roads_in_the Central and Far West. 

96 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 1001. 
97 Ibid., p. 828. 
9 8lbid., p. 737. 

"See Illinois Central Railroad in Official Guide of the Rys.,Nov., 1916. 


Chapter X 


There are several phases of the passenger service which remain to be 
considered. These phases deserve mention since in certain sections of the 
country they are holding a place of increasing importance in the passenger 

In the states of the Central West east of the Mississippi River, in 
the New England States and in the Pacific Coast States there has grown up a 
rather extensive network of electric lines. These lines have undertaken 
to furnish a service of a local nature for short distances out from cities. 
Within certain limits, i.e., on an average within an hour's ride of the city, 
people wish to travel to the city frequently and moreover at all hours of the 
day. Because of inherent properties of the steam railway's power system it 
is in general unprofitable to steam roads to furnish this frequent service 
until it becomes of such proportions as to warrant the establishment of a 
suburban service. 

Electric railways are able to operate small train units economically, 
and as a result it has been found profitable in many instances to furnish 
a cheap, frequent, electric service to these people. The prime motive of 
these travelers is to make a cheap and quick trip. Hence their accommodations 
are of a character far inferior to those of the traveler on a long-distance, 
service -de -luxe train, but to them the electric line service is much more con- 
venient. It is not at all uncommon to find electric lines, which connect 
two or more cities 10 to 75 miles apart, offering an hourly service in each 


direction between 5:00 a.m. and midnight. In more thickly populated section* 
this service will increase to half-hour service and in extreme cases will 
take the frequency of street car service. 

On the Pacific Electric Railway, the largest electric railway sy3tem 
in the world, there are 89 trains daily in each direction between Los Angeles 
and Pasadena, California, a distance of 14 miles. This system has & total 
mileage of 613 in Southern California and has a total of 2,600 scheduled trains 
daily between various points on its lines. 100 Part of the system is four 
tracked to take care of its heavy traffic. 

Some of the more important electric systems are attempting to build 
up a long distance traffic as competitors of the steam lines. The McEinley 
Lines in Illinois have established a sleeping car service between Peoria 
and St. Louis. 101 Many of their limited trains carry well equipped parlor 
cars • 

The Government has requested electric lines to reduce their sched- 
ules to save fuel consumed in power houses. This war measure has caused a 
reduction of as much as forty per cent in their service. Special equipment 
has for the most part been taken off. 

The growth of suburbs around the larger cities such as New York, 
Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh has created a demand on the 
railroads to move a large traffic into the city from the suburbs in the morn- 
ing and from the city back to the suburbs in the evening. To accommodate this 
traffic the railroads have in several instances established a very extensive 

100 0fficial Guide of the Railways, Dec, 1917, p. 857. 
101 Ibid., p. 1024. • 


suburban service. Here as in the case of electric lines the service desired 
is that of cheap, quick ar.d frequent transportation. Second class equipment 
is used for the most part. 

Chicago has a typical suburban service. The Illinois Central on its 
lake shore line has the largest traffic with a total of 275 trains. The 
Chicago and North Western is second with a total of about 225 trains on its 
three divisions out of the city. Other roads operating a suburban service 
are the Burlington with 90 trains, the Rock Island with 80, the New York 
Central with 40, the Pennsylvania (Ft. Wayne Route) with 25, the Wabash with 
10 and the Grand Trunk with 8 trains .* 02 This service has been one of contin- 
ual growth during the last forty years and bids fair to become still larger 
since the population of the suburbs is growing rapidly. 

The excursion business has been fostered by many American railways 
whose lines reach prominent resorts, and they have built up a considerable 
traffic of this kind. The Pennsylvania has a large excursion business to the 
New Jersey seaside resorts including Atlantic City. The Chicago and North 
Western directs the attention of those whose favorite sport is fishing to the 
lake region in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan. Extra equipment is furnished 
on all regular trains from Chicago and Milwaukee to the lakes daring the 
summer and in addition a special train called the "Northern Lakes' Special" 
is run daily from Chicago from the middle of June to the first of September^ 3 
This is a luxuriously equipped train of Pullmans which leaves the metropoli- 
tan terminal at a convenient hour in the evening and by morning has arrived 
in the "Fisherman's Paradise". 

102 See Official Railway Guide of Chicago, May 19, 1917, pages 33, 34, 42, 
43, 54 16, 21, 61, 64, 68. 

iC^For schedule of this train see Chicago & North Western Ry. "Complete 
Passenger Schedules", Aug., 1917, p. 27. 


Once a week in the sumicer the Chicago and North Western and the 
Union Pacific System offer a special train for people patronizing their 
Personally Conducted Tours to and through the Yellowstone National Park. 
This is likewise an all Pullman car train and is operated as a section of 
either the Los Angeles Limited or the Oregon-Washington Limited.* 04 

The impressive feature of the modern excursion businesa is that 
it is tending to lead away from the old form of excursion with its dirty and 
dusty cars that were only used once or twice a year and packed with people 
like immigrant trains when they were U3ed. The new forms of excursions are 
such as those mentioned which offer service equ^l to, if not better than, the 
regular first class service. 

AU *See "Summer Tours" distributed by the Department of Tours, Chicago, 
Union Pacific and North Western Line. 


Chapter XI 


In conclusion, we find the development of passenger schedules in 
America has been of two general kinds. One kind of development has been 
that of the number of schedules in effect. The other kind of development 
has been that of an increase of average speed or a decrease of the time re- 
quired to operate trains between specified terminals. 

It has been shown that as new railroad lines have been built and 
opened for operation passenger service has been established. As a result 
we have had in the total number of schedules in effect a continual increase 
simultaneous with the increase of mileage operated. Ir. addition there has 
been an increase of what we may call schedule density. Schedule density 
is the number of schedules in effect daily over a specified operating unit 
of main line, usually a district. An illustration of this latter phase of 
development is found on the New York, New Haven & Hartford between New York 
and New Haven. In 1850 the schedule density on these 72 miles of railroad was 
eleven. On this same road in 1917 the schedule density was 65 if we disre- 
gard all suburban schedules and those to, from, or between intermediate points. 
If these latter schedules were taken into account, the above density figures 
would be more than doubled. An increase in schedule density is commensurate 
with the increase of population in a section of the country served by a rail- 
road, provided that this railroad connects places between which there is an 
effective demand for passenger transportation. It is true the demand 
for transportation may be created by the railroad itself, but in so 
far as schedule density is concerned the effect is the same as if an 
increase in population had brought about the increased demand. It is to be 


expected then, that those railroads having a strategic location will enjoy 
an increase of schedule density as the population increases in the sections 
of the country served by those roads. The increase of schedules due to the 
opening of new mileage is becoming negligible with possible exceptions in the 
Far West, but the increase of schedule density is almost unlimited in it» 
possibilities . 

The other kind of development, that of increased average speed, has 
certainly been the more spectacular of the two, but whether or not it has 
been the more important economically and socially is another question. The 
shortening of schedules between large terminals has undoubtedly played an im- 
portant part in the development of our commercial life. It appears that the 
most strenuous efforts in the development of high average speeds have been 
made by the railroads primarily to accommodate business men. This has been 
especially true of the 18 and 20 hour service between Chicago and New York. 

It is of interest to follow the development in average speed from 
early days to the present time on a few of the typical and best passenger 
routes. The tables here included give the average speed of the fastest 
schedule only, for different years between the terminals named. We note that 
on each of these representative through passenger routes the average speed 
has been approximately doubled during the period of years shown. 


Chicago- New York 



, Average Speed in \ 
' Miles per Hour 



24.3 : 






29.4 : 



38.8 : 



40.5 : 



48.5 : 



54.0 : 



54.0 : 



: 48.5 : 



Chicago-San Francisco 



Average Speed in 
• Miles per Hour * 



18.6 : 



: 19.8 



27.4 : 


72 3/4 

: 33.0 : 


71 2/3 

33.5 : 


65 1/6 

36.9 : 




Chicago-St. Louis* 



Average Speed in .' 
Miles per Hour J 

1 858 

i 1 A 

1 1 

25.4 I 


10 11/12 

26 : 


33 : 


7 3/4 

36.5 : 


7 2/3 

37 : 


7 2/3 

37 : 


♦Figures for 1858 and 1870 are from Chicago to East St. Louis only. 

On the accompanying plate is a graph constructed from the contents 
of Table I. An important fact emphasized by the graph is that there has been 
a decrease of average speed since the year 1910. A graph for the Pennsylvania 
between these same terminals would show similar facts because it has been 
from an early date a very strong competitor of the New York Central and has 
kept its service and schedules balanced with theirs as closely as possible. 
On these two passenger routes we find the greatest extremes of average speed 
over long distances. There are examples of higher average speeds for short 
distances. For instance, on the Royal Blue Line there is a train scheduled 
between Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and Jersey City, a distance of 79.4 miles, 
in 1 hour and 18 minutes or an average of 61 miles an hour, but this distance 
is only one-twelfth of the distance between Chicago and New York. 


The average speed in transcontinental service, Table II, has been 
held at a low figure. The primary reason for this fact is unquestionably 
the severity of grades and curves thru the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains. 
In so far as roadbed and equipment are concerned this line is not excelled 
even by the eastern trunk lines. It is also possible that there has not 
been the same pressing demand of business men for fast transportation between 
Chicago and San Francisco that there has been, for example, between Chicago 
and New York. We observe, nevertheless, that the Overland Limited "saves a 
full business day" the same as the Twentieth Century Limited. 

For some time there has been little increase in average speed in 
Chicago-St. Louis service as shown by Table III. Moreover, the present 
average speed is relatively low. The question naturally arises, why is the 
average speed of the fastest trains between these important terminals so low? 
The reason is not because of grade or curve interference as is true on the 
transcontinental lines, nor is it because of poor roadbed and equipment for 
these are of the best. These roads are double tracked and this fact reduces 
to a minimum the interference of opposing traffic. 

All the competing roads except the Illinois Central operate their 
"noon" trains in each direction on a ? hour and 40 to 50 minute schedule. 
Furthermore every one of these trains makes at least 10 and some make as 
high as 17 stops between terminals. The "midnight" stopless trains are given 
the same running time as the "noon" trains. If a train is operated between 
terminals only 290 miles apart and makes at least 10 stops and another train 
is operated between the same terminals in the same length of time and makes 
no intermediate stops, it is evident at least that no attempt is made to 
maintain a high average speed for the stopless train. The reason is probably 


that travelers must spend the night in transit, and it is a matter of 
indifference to them whether they arrive at terminals at 6, 7, or 8 o'clock 
in the morning. The Illinois Central trains do not leave terminals at the 
same hours of the day as on other roads but this road observes the same minimum 
running time. As a matter of fact the Alton Limited or Banner Limited could 
easily make the trip in 7 hours, at an average speed of approximately 40 miles 
per hour. This figure is relatively low when higher average speeds between 
these cities are known to be both possible and practical. To prove this fact 
we need only to note that the Chicago and Eastern Illinois operates a mail 
train with no accommodations for passengers on a 6^ hour schedule in each 
direction over the 290 miles by this route. The only explanation that can be 
given for the low average speed in Chicaep -St . Louis service is simply that 
the roads agree that they will not operate passenger trains between these 
cities on a schedule less than 7 hours and 40 minutes. Business men do not 
urge the establishment of faster schedules between Chicago and St. Louis 
because of the proximity of the two cities. It is not a question with them 
of saving a business day if trains were operated on a 6| or 7 hour schedule 
instead of a 7 3/4 hour schedule . Under present conditions they can leave 
either city in the evening and arrive in the other city in time for the next 
day's business and this accommodation is all they ask. If they desire to 
travel during the day, in so far as business hours are concerned, that day 
is lost no matter whether they make the trip in 6^, 7, or 7 3/4 hours. 

It is well to consider the circumstances which have made higher 
average speeds possible and at the same time reasonably safe. There are at 
least two important reasons: first, an increase in the number of miles between 
consecutive stops; and second, better roadbed and equipment. It is outside 


the scope of this thesis to show in detail how the distance between stops 
has been increased for express trains. That there has been such development, 
however, needs no proof. The fact that express trains today run a greater 
distance without stopping than they formerly did enables them to make a 
higher average speed without increasing the maximum speed at any point, other 
things being equal. 

Simultaneous with the demand for faster trains with fewer stops 
has been the demand for finer equipment with which to increase the comfort 
of those making long journeys. The railroads have complied with this demand 
by furnishing the better equipment. At the same time this equipment lends 
itself readily to safe operation at higher maximum speeds. The tendency 
toward greater mechanical perfection in locomotives, braking equipment, 
automatic block signals, and a better roadbed have made possible the operation 
of trains with great safety at much higher maximum speeds than formerly were 
practical. When we consider together the increase in distance between stops 
and the increase in maximum practical speeds we then account for the marked 
increase in average speeds. While each of the tables show that there ha3 been 
approximately 100$ increase in average speed on that line, one must bear 
in mind that these tables can not be compared one with the other because 
of different operating conditions. The average number of stops per mile and 
the average grade conditions between terminals have a controlling influence 
on the average speed, We should note that for the present between New York 
and Chicago an apparent practical speed limit has been reached, and that now 
there is a slight reaction. After a thorough trial the 18-hour trains were 
pronounced unsafe, especially during the winter, and were taken off at the 
request of the traveling public. It does not seem that the highest possible 


average speed has been reached, but it does seem that with our present system 
of train operation a practical maximum speed limit has been reached. 

The demand of the American public for finer equipment and facilities 
has resulted in the development of a large traffic of a class above that of 
the standard first class. This traffic patronizes the special service or 
service de-luxe trains. We have developed this super-class to a greater extent 
than any other people. In all other important countries the tendency is for 
traffic to move not to the service de-luxe class but from higher to lower 
classes. The situation in America has resulted in an increased proportion 
of service de-luxe trains which are, as a rule, handled on fast schedules. 
A passenger supplied with a first-class ticket but not with special service 
tickets may be compelled to wait at New York or Boston several hours for a 
train which will accommodate him to Chicago. While he waits, as many as four 
to six trains may leave for Chicago and he is not entitled to ride upon any of 
them because they have no accommodations for coach passengers. 

The war has put a temporary check on the advancement of special 
service schedules and trains, but this present curtailment is not expected 
to be permanent. Service de-luxe trains such as the Pennsylvania's Broadway 
Limited have been taken off not because there is no longer a demand for them, 
but because these trains interfere more than any other passenger trains with 
the operation of freight trains. The necessity for prompt movement of war 
materials demands that every action practical be taken to facilitate the 
movement of freight trains. To reduce the interference of high speed passen- 
ger trains with freight movements it has therefore been necessary to elimi- 
nate the fastest schedules and to lengthen others. 

It has become the custom over the entire country to operate either 


observation parlor or observation drawing room cars on all trains of any 
importance. Many roads are now temporarily setting aside part or all of their 
parlor, club, and dining cars. The purpose of this action is to reduce the 
number of trains and cars to the number absolutely necessary to carry the 
passengers so as to release locomotives and train crews for freight service. 
The action is strictly a war measure. All kinds of special service equip- 
ment will no doubt be placed back in service after the war. 

In general the growing demand of America's traveling public for 
passenger transportation over long distances has brought about an increase 
in the number of schedules, density of schedules, distance between stops, 
average speed, and maximum speed. Concurrent with this development is that 
of equipment and special services. As a result the railroads of the United 
States ha-ve developed the finest and most elaborate thru passenger service 
to be found. 


Official Guile of the Railways and Steair. Navigation Lines of the United State 
Porto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Cuba. 

Appleton's Railway and Steam Navigation Guide. 

Railroad Gazette. 

Johnson and Van Metre, Principles of Railroad Transportation. 
Railway Age. 
Railway Age-Gazette. 
Pathfinder Railway Guide. 

Travelers' Official Guide of the Railways of the United States and Canada. 

American Railway Guide. 

Official Railway Guide of Chicago. 

Johnson and Huebner, Railroad Traffic and Rates, Vol. II. 
International Railway and Steam Navigation Guide. 
Webb's Economics of Railroad Construction. 

Standard Code of Train Rules of the American Railway Association. 
"Complete Passenger Schedules" Chicago & North Western Railway. 
"Summer Tours" Dept. of Tours, Chicago, Union Pacific and North Western Line.